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Match Report


Posted Fri 20 Jun 14 at 12:26 PM

Middlesbrough 3 Charlton 1

Olly Groome reports from the Riverside Stadium

It was another disappointing afternoon on the road for Charlton as they fell to a 3-1 defeat to high-flying Middlesbrough at the Riverside Stadium on Saturday. 

After falling behind to Patrick Bamford’s strike, the Addicks pulled themselves back in impressive fashion through Johann Berg Gudmundsson who rifled a powerful shot home from distance to ensure the the scores would be level at the break. 

But the home side took control in the second-half, grabbing goals from Jelle Vossen and LeeTomlin to condemn the visitors to their 13th successive game without a victory. 

Guy Luzon made four changes to the Charlton starting lineup to take on Boro. 

Tony Watt, Simon Church, Oguchi Onyewu and Morgan Fox have all come into the starting line-up at the Riverside Stadium, with Israeli shuffling his pack.

Two changes had been enforced due to Callum Harriott and Rhoys Wiggins both missing out due to injuries picked up in training on Friday.

Igor Vetokele and André Bikey-Amougou are both on the bench, while Roger Johnson was not yet fit enough to be considered for selection.

Marko Dmitrović retained his place in goal in front of a back four of Fox, Onyewu, Tal Ben Haim and captain Chris Solly and it was an unchanged midfield quartet before a strike force of Watt and the recalled Church.

There was an early half-chance for the Addicks when Jordan Cousins intercepted a sloppyBoro pass out from the back. 

The wide man played in Watt, who beat one man to enter the penalty area before being blocked off 12 yards from goal. 

Yoni Buyens picked up the pieces and diverted a low ball across the face of goal which was only just missed by Gudmundsson at the back post to provide the hosts with a let-off. 

It would not be long, however, until Middlesbrough would take the lead through Bamford after they had won their first corner of the game with six minutes gone. 

With the set-piece delivered from the left-hand side, it was met by the Chelsea loanee who ghosted into the danger area unmarked to steer the ball past Dmitrović and into the bottom right-hand corner. 

The hosts were in control in the early exchanges as Charlton struggled to get to grips with the high-flyers’ slick passing play, and only a deflection prevented it from being 2-0 with 13 minutes on the clock. 

Grant Leadbitter was the man to try his luck, bending an effort from the angle which took a wicked deflection and looked to be heading in, but bounced narrowly past the post before Bamford nearly rounded off a fine Middlesbrough move moments later. 

A series of one-touch passes saw the ball finally threaded through to the goalscorer, who took on his shot at the first of time of asking just inside the box, but could only draw a solid save from Charlton’s Serbia U21 stopper between the sticks. 

It was not until the 27th minute that the Addicks got somewhat of a foothold back in the game when Gudmundsson struck the post with an effort from 25 yards. 

The Iceland international received possession after superb work down the left from Church and the winger let fly with a low effort which came back off the base of the right-hand upright. 

Bizarrely, Charlton were given a second bite of the cherry when referee Trevor Kettle pulled play back for a foul on Watt during the build-up, allowing Gudmundsson to have another crack. 

And although his free-kick looked to have beaten Dimi Konstantopoulos, he could only watch as it dipped narrowly over the crossbar. 

Luzon’s men suffered a blow just after the half-hour mark when Veljković found himself on the receiving end of a nasty kick from Tomlin while grounded. 

At first viewing, it looked as if the midfielder, on loan from Spurs, had dislocated a shoulder which meant he was forced to leave the field of play prematurely to be replaced by the returning skipper Johnnie Jackson. 

Undeterred, however, the Addicks continued on their quest for an equaliser, which came in emphatic fashion via Gudmundsson’s powerful left boot. 

More good work from Watt saw the Scot gallop towards goal before squaring to Buyens at the edge of the box. 

With the ball played behind him, the Belgian did well to keep the opening alive, taking a faint touch into the path of Gudmundsson who absolutely leathered his shot straight into the top left-hand corner from 20 yards. 

While it was true that Boro had, perhaps, been the better side during the first-half, there were certainly signs of vulnerability at the back which Charlton took advantage of with aplomb. 

There was still one last chance for the hosts to regain their lead on the stroke of half-time when Tomlin’s good-looking effort nicked off a black shirt to divert wide, but the visitors would hold on to go into the break level pegging having certainly grown into the encounter on Teeside. 

But the hard work was undone as early as the second minute in the second period when Boro took advantage of some sloppy defending to regain the lead. 

When the ball fell to Onyewu in the box, the USA international passed it straight back to a red shirt at the edge of the box. 

And with the ball eventually coming to Vossen, the Belgian rode one challenge before finishing past Dmitrović from 10 yards for 2-1. 

The Addicks were now at the bottom of the hill which they did so well to climb in the opening 45, and with Boro in top form, it was going to be some challenge to claw their way back into proceedings. 

Indeed, they did provide a positive reaction with Gudmundsson seeing a shot well blocked following a goalmouth scramble before Jackson let fly with an effort which flew wide. 

And with 57 minutes gone, Luzon threw Vetokele into the fray in place of Church as his side went in search of an equaliser for the second time. 

Meanwhile, Middlesbrough were continuing to look a threat up front and when Ben Haim passed a free-kick straight to Tomin, he played a pinpoint ball into Bamford who found himself one-on-one, but was met well by the onrushing Dmitrović to smother the striker’s effort. 

In truth, the action slowed down as the chances dried up and the time wore on, but there was still the odd sign that there was something left for the visitors. 

Onyewu’s cross from the left only just evaded the on-rushing Jackson 12 yards out, while Gudmundsson fired an effort just wide of the post shortly after. 

But it was not to be for Charlton, who suffered the final nail in their coffin two minutes from the end when a smart corner routine resulted in the ball being delivered to Tomlin on the edge of the box, who fired home a ferocious volley to wrap up the points for Aitor Karanka’s men. 

Charlton: Dmitrović, Solly, Fox, Ben Haim, Onyewu; Gudmundsson, Veljković (Jackson 35), Buyens (Lepoint 85), Cousins; Watt, Church (Vetokele 58).

Subs (not used): Etheridge, Wilson, Gomez, Bikey-Amougou.

Goal: Gudmundsson 37

Booked: Lepoint 87 (foul)

Middlesbrough: Konstantopoulos, Fredericks, Gibson, Omeruo, Friend, Leadbitter, Clayton, Adomah (Reach 72), Tomlin, Vossen (Kike 89), Bamford (Forshaw 72).

Subs (not used): Mejias, Woodgate, Whitehead, Kalas.

Goals: Bamford 6, Vossen 48, Tomlin 88

Booked: Forshaw 82 (foul on Cousins)

Referee: T Kettle

Att: 18,903 (240 from Charlton)

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